The Glenarm Regeneration Scheme has been given the go-ahead by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s planning committee.
At a meeting of the committee on June 9, councillors voted in favour of the initiative, which will include the regeneration of the square at Eglinton Yard to include retail units, a café and a community hall and housing.
The plans were drawn up by The Prince’s Foundation after consultation with the local community,
However, the council received 56 objection letters from residents in addition to a petition against the housing element of the scheme, which was signed by 117 people.
The grounds for objection included claims that the development was not in keeping with the village’s character, that it was contrary to Glenarm Regeneration Strategy, that it blocked views of the marina and St Patrick’s church, that it would be built on a floodplain in an area that had previously flooded, and that it would prevent use of the waterfront and footbridge.
The scheme was originally passed by the council’s planning committee on April 7, after being recommended for approval by planners. However, an objector then requested that the DOE “call-in” the application.
After this was refused, the council’s planning committee voted to defer a further decision on the application for a month until its June meeting, in order to carry out a site visit and procure 3D drawings.
Speaking to the Times after the decision to approve the plan, Planning Committee Chair Councillor Lindsay Millar said that the committee had been presented with “no material planning considerations” on which to reject the application.
“This is the third time that this application has come before the Planning Committee, and we undertook a site visit to Eglinton Yard and the car park and viewed an A1 drawing so we know the scheme very well,” she stated. “I’m satisfied that the concerns raised have now been addressed.”
DUP MLA Gordon Lyons welcomed the decision.
“Glenarm has been waiting many years for regeneration and we want to make sure that Eglinton Yard and the community facilities will be put in place as soon as possible so residents will be the first to benefit,” he stated.